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Maureen Hynes

Photo: Vivek Shraya 2015

Maureen Hynes is a Toronto poet whose first book, Letters from China, was an account of her teacher training experiences in Chengdu, China at the end of the Cultural Revolution. Her first book of poetry, Rough Skin, won the League of Canadian Poets’ Gerald Lampert Award. This was followed in 2001 by Harm’s Way and Marrow, Willow in 2010. Her fourth book of poetry, The Poison Colour, was short-listed for both the League’s Raymond Souster and Pat Lowther Awards. Her most recent collection, Sotto Voce, came out from Brick Books in fall, 2019.

In 2006, she won second prize in the (international) Petra Kenny Poetry Competition, awarded at the Canadian High Commission in London, England. She has twice had poems longlisted for the CBC Canada Reads poetry contest. Her work  was selected for Best Canadian Poetry in English 2010, Ed. Lorna Crozier; Best Canadian Poetry in English 2016, Ed. Helen Humphreys, longlisted for the 2011 edition of Best Canadian Poetry, Ed. Priscila Uppal, and appeared in Best of the Best Canadian Poetry in English: Tenth Anniversary Edition, 2017, Eds. Molly Peacock and Anita Lahey.

Maureen’s work has appeared in dozens of journals across Canada and internationally, and in over twenty-five anthologies and textbooks, including the first and second volumes of In Fine Form: The Canadian Book of Form Poetry, eds. Kate Braid and Sandy Shreve; Sweet Water: Poems for the Watersheds, Ed. Yvonne Blomer (forthcoming); Voicing Suicide, Ed Daniel Scott (forthcoming); Love Me True, Eds Fiona Lam and Jane Silcott; A Verse Map of Vancouver, Ed. George McWhirter;The Bright Well, Ed. Fiona Lam; Untying the Apron:  Daughters Remember Mothers of the 1950’s, Ed. Lorri Neilson Glenn; Bent on Writing: Contemporary Queer Tales, Ed. Elizabeth Ruth; Why I Sing the Blues, Eds. Brad Cran and Jan Zwicky.

She has given readings, workshops and taken part in panels across Canada and in the U.S, England, Scotland and Australia.

Maureen has also written ESL academic texts, as well as academic articles in the fields of second language acquisition, women's training issues, race relations and human rights, labour history and labour studies. In 2010, she co-authored with David Kidd Mapping Our Work: Toronto Labour History Walking Tours, and conducts tours of Toronto's labour history sites. With Lost Rivers Toronto and other poets, she’s developed poetry walks focusing on Toronto’s buried rivers, and with the Ireland Park Foundation, walking tours on the history of Toronto’s Irish community. Maureen has led poetry workshops in several cities across Canada, and taught in the University of Toronto’s Creative Writing Program. Maureen is Poetry Editor for Our Times, Canada’s national labour magazine (

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Letters from China. Women's Press , 1981
Rough Skin . Wolsak and Wynn, 1995
we make the air: Poems by Lina Chartrand, co-edited with Ingrid MacDonald. TLC Press, 1999
Harm's Way. Brick Books, 2001
Marrow, Willow. Pedlar Press, 2011
The Poison Colour. Pedlar Press, 2015
Sotto Voce. Brick Books, 2019


The Gerald Lampert Award, League of Canadian Poets for Rough Skin, 1995
The Petra Kenny Poetry Competition, at the Canadian High Commission, London, England., 2006
Longlisted, Best Canadian Poetry 2011, Ed Priscila Uppal for Tightrope Books, 2012
Selected for Best Canadian Poems 2010, edited by Lorna Crozier for Tightrope Books, 2011
Eligible for National Public Readings Program :


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